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Facebook Government The Internet

India Telecom Regulator Pooh-Poohs Facebook's Orchestrated Lobbying Campaign 32

theodp writes: After India's telecom regulator asked a local company to temporarily stop Facebook's Free Basics service amid questions about whether it violates net neutrality, Facebook launched a controversial lobbying campaign, encouraging FB users to write to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which oversees the country's Internet policy, urging the service be preserved. As of Jan. 7, the deadline for accepting comments, the regulator said it had received nearly two million comments from accounts affiliated with the site, including the domain names "" and "@facebookmail."

But many of these comments, the regulator said in a statement, are "basically template responses and the content are identical in nature." TRAI's we-ain't-buying-it response to the orchestrated flood of millions of comments (from both sides) differs markedly from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, which recently told the Court (PDF) it couldn't possibly comply with a Judge's six-month deadline to address issues with the OPT STEM Extension Program because it was overwhelmed by "the approximately 50,500 comments" (about what the average Slashdot reader reviews in a day!) from individuals urged on by the White House and other organizations. By the way, among the comments received by DHS was one from NAFSA — the lobbying powerhouse that represents 3,500 colleges and universities — calling for DHS to have OPT extensions expanded to include all fields of study (PDF).
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India Telecom Regulator Pooh-Poohs Facebook's Orchestrated Lobbying Campaign

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  • What da F? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Has theodp finally gone off the deep end? I know he hates Indians and H1B's, but there is no point in this diatribe.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You mean that you don't think the fact that facebook tried to leverage its users to ddos a government department is notable news in the tech world?

    • Has theodp finally gone off the deep end?

      If he's the one who put "pooh-poohs" in the headline, then yes, he has gone off the deep end.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @05:29PM (#51289891)

    If I remember correctly this was a full page desktop ad that came up and weepingly asked for me to click the send button so the poor babbies in india could get free "internet access".

    I ctrl-a/x'ed the form, put in my own verbage about Fuckerberg and his bitch mother and sent that instead.

    • My observation is that I wish most of the internet fulfilled the technical requirements for a site to be on Free Basics. It would be a slashdotter's wet dream if it didn't look suspiciously like a walled garden/trap.

      technical guidelines []

      Specifically, mobile websites should work in the absence of:
      SVG images and WOFF font types
      Video and large images
      Flash and Java applets

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Read the part about https in your link. This "free internet" thing is just a MitM datamining proxy to bombart ads at its users.

  • >> India Telecom Regulator Pooh-Poohs Facebook's Orchestrated Lobbying Campaign

    Translation:gimme bigger envelopes under the table. At least that's how it works here in America.

  • I have got a Facebook account to view links on Facebook. But I do not use for other things.

    Could you, please, explain me in simple words why I should learn to use it?

    I tried to learn Google+, Linkedin, but they are all the time changing, and I did not get it yet. Is it the same or better?
  • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @05:55PM (#51290061)
    From the summary: "the approximately 50,500 comments" (about what the average Slashdot reader reviews in a day!)

    No, the average Slashdot reader does not read that many comments per day. At the rate of one comment per second, that's almost 14 hours straight.
    • At the rate of one comment per second, that's almost 14 hours straight.

      14 hours is 50,400 seconds, so 50,500 seconds is actually more than 14 hours. But your point is correct.

    • by twokay ( 979515 )
      I felt sure it was a joke, but with the quality of most Slashdot summaries these days I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.
  • by bayankaran ( 446245 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @01:52AM (#51291725) Homepage
    Maybe the Free Interweb idea had its merits, but FB and their advertisement / PR goons went about publicizing the worst way possible...the ads showed poor people beaming with joy as if internet access is going to eradicate hunger, poverty and other social ills. This was the 21st century version of "fairness cream" advertisement.

    What FB should have was test the service in selected areas, or may be one or two circles before planning a pan-Indian roll out.

    Also, I doubt if the feature phones used by a majority of poor / lower income strata citizens (including some of the tech agnostic well off crowd) will have any meaningful browsing experience.
  • That's a lot of commenters. The federal stuff I comment on [] seems to have about 15 others who care enough to comment. The comments are pretty good though.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in here?